An anthology that reads like a long, engaging annual magazine.

THE BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING 2012

An eclectic annual that will leave readers marveling over many of the discoveries and puzzling over the inclusion of a few.

The most category-defying of The Best American Series once again finds noted author Eggers (A Hologram for the King, 2012, etc.) listed as editor while serving more as teacher/mentor/ringleader for the high school class that is “voluntary and extracurricular and very simple: We read and discuss contemporary writing.” The anthology emerges from those discussions, and if its proudly proclaimed “nonrequired reading” status makes it something other than the year’s essential American writing, it at least gives a hint as to what a bunch of bright, responsive high school readers have found particularly compelling. Very much a product of its time, the anthology encompasses, among other things, graphic narratives, manifestos and reports from the various “Occupy” outposts, the eulogy for Apple’s Steve Jobs by his sister, Mona Simpson, the variety of phone responses elicited by a flyer requesting “If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me,” “Best American Lonely Guy” and pieces of long-form journalism about the complex lives and identities of real-life superheroes. There is zombie fiction from Jess Walter, inscrutable fiction from George Saunders and some pieces that leave it to readers to determine whether they are fiction or not. Perhaps the most powerful is “Redeployment” by Phil Klay, a Marine Iraqi vet with a master’s degree in creative writing and a collection of stories due. “We shoot dogs,” it starts. “Not by accident.” It then proceeds to detail what soldiers find when they return from battle—empty houses, broken marriages, lives that seem surreal, dogs that need to be put down. All readers will find their own favorites that justify the collection as a whole.

An anthology that reads like a long, engaging annual magazine.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-59596-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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